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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 6 Hansard (4 June) . . Page.. 1738..

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Madam Speaker. He does not have the courage to actually say it into the microphone. People should hear you and the venom that you spit across this chamber. They should know who they are dealing with. The reality is that the Canberra Hospital is performing amongst its peers. (Time expired.)

Disability services—autism spectrum disorder

MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Children and Young People. Minister, a fax sheet on the NDIS and early intervention that appears on the Community Services Directorate website states:

An example of non-government service providers entering the market in the ACT and already working with families include ASPECT or Autism SPECTrum and Aspire Early Intervention.

Minister, what capacity do these service providers have to meet the early intervention service delivery needs from 2015, after you axe existing services?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Wall for his question. There are a number of providers that are willing to support the early intervention program. House with No Steps and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance have also come forward and have shown a very strong interest in working with the NDIA in providing early intervention services for Canberra families and for Canberra children.

We are not axing this service. We have made the decision that government will withdraw from being a direct service provider. That is a policy position that has been endorsed and, indeed, described as Liberal Party policy by Mr Wall himself. So we are merely transitioning out of being a direct provider and we are doing that because we need to remove ourselves from this space, to allow the non-government sector to come in and provide greater choice and flexibility and a deeper response to the needs of our community.

Mr Wall: On a point of order, Madam Speaker, on relevance, the question asked specifically what capacity do these two service providers have to meet the service delivery, namely, ASPECT and Aspire. The minister has not yet answered that question.

MS BURCH: I have finished my answer.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, have you or officials from your directorate spoken to Aspect or Aspire about their role as a service provider in the territory into the future prior to this week?

MS BURCH: I know that the directorate has spoken to a number of agencies. We are working through KPMG, who are doing some market soundings around a number of providers. There have also been a number of forums held over the last number of months, particularly those auspiced and managed through National Disability Services.

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